It took 10 long years for baseball writers in America to get their collective heads out of their posteriors and recognize Edgar Martinez as worthy of the Hall of Fame. Along with Roy Halladay, Mike Mussina, and Mariano Rivera, Edgar will be honored with enshrinement at Cooperstown.
Edgar spent his entire 18 year career with the Seattle Mariners. Few could do what Edgar could, in fact he is just one of a handful of major leaguers who have ever hit over .300, had a .400+ on base average, and had a slugging percentage over .500 for an entire career. A two time batting champ, the excellence and dignity with which Edgar played earned him the honor of having the Designated Hitter of the Year award bear his name.
Mariano Rivera joked that his difficulties with pitching to Edgar helped get him in the HOF.
“Especially early in my career, man, I got two strikes on Edgar and the third one never showed up,” Rivera said after his election on Tuesday, adding on Wednesday, “When you face the type of hitter that Edgar was, you have to really, really bring your game, because he will have you for breakfast, lunch and dinner, like he did me.”
— Seattle Mariners (@Mariners) January 22, 2019
Mike Mussina confirmed what every MLB contemporary knew about Edgar.
“When you’re as good a hitter as he was, then you just say, ‘Listen, I’m going throw it in the middle and hope he hits it really hard right to somebody, because if I try real hard and he still gets a hit, is this going to make me mad?’ And honestly, sometimes you do that. You say: ‘I’m going to throw a sinker right down the middle, man. Just hit it in the first two pitches and let’s move on, because you’re going to get a hit anyway.’
— Baseball Hall ⚾ (@baseballhall) January 22, 2019
Hall of Fame pitcher Pedro Martinez sung his praises.
“He would make me throw at least 13 fastballs above 95 (mph). I would be hard-breathing after that,” said Pedro during an interview with former Boston Red Sox teammate Kevin Millar on the MLB Network. “Edgar was a guy who had the ability to foul off pitches, and it pissed me off when I had to throw 13 pitches to get a guy out.”
His turning model, the M356, remains one of our most popular turns. #LouisvilleLoyal
— Louisville Slugger (@sluggernation) January 23, 2019
When the Big Unit Randy Johnson made his way to Cooperstown he made sure to give a call out to Edgar.
“The first person that comes to my mind was a teammate of mine for 9½ years and the greatest hitter I ever played with,” Johnson said. “I’ve faced a lot of Hall of Fame hitters, and my gosh, Edgar is the best hitter that I ever saw. “I support him because he was my teammate, and I loved him, and he did so much for Seattle and made me look good during my career there. The first person on my ballot who would get my vote is Edgar. Yes, I’m campaigning for him. But isn’t that always going to happen with these kinds of things?”